Good Bye Portugal

  Goodbye good people, good food, and 23% tax.  The engine is put together, and our dinghy is stowed, it is time to hit the road.  The sun is shining, and the winds are favorable, what we have been trying to get to all trip.  Sucks we had to break the engine twice to get to the weather because of our late start, but the sailing should be easy from here.

Here is a video we've tried out our new GOPRO, as well as follow us on our tracker, and don't be afraid to give some love.

This post may seem short, but with the video, and pictures, with our barely there in and out Internet and standing in the cold outside a closed cafe using their slow upload speed, there was lots of hours out into communicating.  It seemed a lot easier on my lazy boy and auto connecting to my wifi with 10mb a sec speed.

See you all in seven days.

Boat Mantinance

  As we sit here for the second time because of a engine overheating problem from a internal engine malfunction, I can't help but ponder on the ability to prevent such accurances with proper maintance and upkeep of your vessel.  I bought this boat in July and used it for 6 days and had it stored in Porto, Portugal for 5 months upon arrival in December.  I'm not saying that this boat wasn't running fine for what its purposes were before, seeing as a family owned and it was mainly used to go from one bay to the next probably with the most a few hours on the engine and a few under sail.  I have definately pushed the boat to the limits of its age and have seen its flaws.  

    The MD11C, 2 cylinder, 23 hp, diesel Inboard installed orginally in the 1976 Westerly Centaur, that I own has known problems if not flushed with acid once every other season or so, in order to clear the small coolant passages along the head and cylinder walls.  I'm not saying the last owner failed to properly store the engine, but I am having a hard time coming to the conclusion that the engine had the ability to seize after one time out, on top of the engine showing signs of over heating on the last trip.  Although it started find and had been overhauled in 2005 with a new piston rings and sealant rings, they did not install new springs or any inner parts of the head.  The rebuild would of been more efficient in my mind to spend the extra hundred dollars on new springs.

  On top of proper engine maintenance there is the fact that I tore apart the front furling sail, which was rope tied to the side obviously showing signs of problems in the past.  After disassembling found two completely seized bearings.  This shows that the previous owner new of furling problems and failed, no neglected to fixed said maintenance.  The front furler was spinning the front stay in circles instead of furling with the drum, causing unneeded wear on the standing rigging.

  I wish I would of owned the boat prior, as it seems the boat had a fantastic owner from 1993-2003 which did major upgrades and installed new electronics.  The boat shows the guts of having a "stowe" brain installed with the instruments to match, but the surveys since show each owner neglecting the problems and doing easy fixes in order to continue their journey with no out of pocket expenses.  

  This is further shown by the external VHF speaker, which was in-op when I stepped onboard.  I took it apart and melted the old speaker out and had a new one installed in less then an hour.  The previous owner found it better just to cut the wire....cut......instead of unplugging, or fixing the problem.  This reaches even further to the speed inductor which was just filled instead of diagnosed.

  Maybe it was the lack of knowledge by the previous owner, or it was the apathy.  It seems that his mistakes are becoming my demise.  For all you boat owners out there, take the extra time in order to properly fix the aging boat beneath your feet, and I assure you, you will have a sound vessel, and sleep better at night.  Let alone the inherit fact that the next vessel I choose to purchase will show me that there are good boat owners out there.  I suppose shopping for a boat over the internet, never meeting the owner, and using a surveyor I found over the internet didn't help the fact.  When you are chained to the desk, with no time or money to fly in-between countries, this is what you are left with though.

This journey will not continue to be at the mercy of failed maintenance by its owner, as there is new management.   Our next post should be of us departing Sagres, Portugal in route to the Canary Islands.  Talk soon.

Our wood needed some oil, as well.  I have messed with sealer on a previous boat and decided I would only teak oil my boat, but found a bottle of wood sealer on the boat and mistakenly used it on the teak surrounding the hull.....messy business.  At least in this time of rest we were able to fix the other misfortunes as well.  We also fixed the toilet, TMC manual.  That I am not sure if anyone was aware of, as it was not inputting sea water from the input, but it turned out to be a gasket failure, which is fixed by manually applying suction until the bowl fills.

The amount of posts before were a sign of beating against the wind.  We will try to be more informative of what is occurring the issues we are running against.  We will do a cost analysis as well and post our current projection of costs.  This will be higher than expected due to the clogged engine, which cause overheating, which caused  the seizing.

Until Tonight.

Rare Commonities

  It has been two weeks since we have come to this southern Peak in portugal.  It all started when our valve broke on our engine, that left us in bad waves, and wind coming from the direction we wanted to travel(as usual).  It seemed as if the guides that said you souldnt do this route after october were right after all, lesson learned.  Travel during the times of past sailors, ok got it, but obviously our jobs wouldn't allow it, so here we are in the wrong season, doing the wrong route.  And seemingly breaking out 36 year old boat in the process.

A brief recap of our hours before we our in Porto Baleeira.

"We hit a rough spot right before we got to the cove we are in, front sail snapped coming around a peak of cliffs, weather and waves pushing us into the wall, engine was broke, had to jump up front and re run a new line and bring the sail down and up.  The system had seized to bring it down as well. It seemed everything was against us, but luckily we tacked just enough to get us around the peak.  But as we came around the waves were too strong for our boat. And would round us out every time, leaving us so we couldn't stear, like when you turn your car on ice, and we tried to stear out but the wave would push us back in.  We did this for about 5 hours, before we could come up and get into a cove.  The waves beat us up for the next three nights, broke out dinghy loose and smashed it on the rocks.  We threw out a second anchor and the waves were bringing us up and down and the current seemed as if it was in circles. Ending up snapping one anchor line, and luckily the second was chain, but it snapped it loose twice.  Spent the hole night chasing down the anchor line on the bow."

So here we sit, as I said, for two weeks, waiting for our new dinghy to arrive and our new parts from Lagos, sopromar, the Volvo Penta Dealer.  The parts arrived today, but allas, no one in the mind will lend me a torque wrench.  It seems they are very expensive and you can't buy them anywhere. I ran around lagos for 4 hours trying to track one down to no avail.  So we have to order one of them aswell.  So, here starts the waiting game again.  Hopefully it will be here by Tuesday, since our weather Looks like it will finally be on our side.

There are no water facilities here, and the nearest supermarket is around 2 miles away.  We made our frist trip today, and we are out of water in the next few days. The gas station that is at the marina seems it is only open on demand, and I am not sure how to get their attention, and they will probably charge 15 cents more a liter.  That leaves me to taking a trip to the gas statino that is 3 miles away to get gas.  Seems my legs will be getting stronger during this stay as well.

The windex is also broke from our trip on the waves as we come into sagres, we were heeled over so far and the waves pushed us so the top of the windex no longer had gravity on its side.  It seemed as though the waves may of taken us a few times, but luckily we made it through.

The table mount broke as well on that venture as It crashed into me as I was trying to get the tools to repair our broken jib.  I found an old mount in the water locker as well, it seems the last owner had the excat thing occur to him, but instead of choosing a better solutino replaced the part with the same part....genius.

Starting this wednesday we should be onto a better look into things.  The Genoa has a new line, we replaced the main line, ordered a new Dinghy, Motor mount, and we went electric with the dinghy motor.  Although we have yet to get a battery to operate it as we are snooping to find the best, this is our first battery shopping experience, good fun.  We were going to purchase a Windex, but the Sopromar store at the Lagos Marina wants 62 euro for an arrow that points the way the wind direction is coming from because it has glow in the dark tape on the bottom.  I just couldn't buy it.  We have the new parts for the engine, but here we sit, without a torque wrench waiting for spain to come through.  Now we will have one on board for when I decide to take the other head off and replace the valve springs on it as well in some preventive maintanence.

  While we were here I also was trying to re rig the jib, and it was jimmy rigged from the last owner and something didn't seem right, so I ended up tearing the drum off the Front Stay and looking at its ineards.  The bearings were completely rusted beyond repair. We attempted rust removal chemicals and boiling water for about 4 hours before we called it fair.  We ended up finding a British company that handles bearings and I took the measurements and as I was leaning over the side of the boat trying to get signal from the wireless that is over 200 meters away, I was able to place an order.  Oh, but were the measurements right?  No I acidently ordered the wrong parts, needed to place another order and then call the company in order to confirm to remove the false order.  They could barely here me.  I ended repeating myself 20 times.

All the parts are ordered..... Come to find out, no one can delvier packages to the post office except for the monopoly CTT which the government owns....great....  We luckily called the local courier and tracked our packages before they sent them backed.  They would not try another delivery without a contact number. A local contact number.  At this time our dighny was lost from the storm and we were using our internet from one bar to try to make broken calls over skype to the company, while still repeating ourselves 20 times.  We have no dinghy, we have no number, we have no are we going to get our parts for the furler, our new dinghy and other packages.  

  Someone had to suit up....  Since I spent nearly 6 hours repeatedly diving to the bottom to retreive our fouled anchors in CasCais, it was definatly the skippers turn to earn their keep.  Stef suited up and swam the 200 meters to shore to get a prepaid phone card from the post office in order to call the company in order for them to deliver the package the following day, she had to swim back to the boat, and then again to retrieve the packages the following day.  There will be a video Posted.

After all these events we have some sun on the horrizon, and maybe the only motivation I have in writing this post at all, as it seems some people wonder what has happened to the 26' boat that can't make it from the portugeese shore.  We are here, and with the following weather window we will be leaving the Contentital Europe and traveling to the Canary Islands on help us...

Hopefully with the engine fixed, water supplies topped off, food in our belly, and our bed not soaked from sea water coming over the Bow.

The Engine... the death of us...

We have made it to the far southern coast of Portugal.  We sit in the harbour of sagres safety behind a marina wall 40 meters of chain on our cqr anchor that we successfully snaged from under a chain at the bottom of cascais.  We were rounding the peak to the coast with no wind when our engine when out, and then as we were within a few hundred meters our Genoa haylard broke.....leaving us engine less and sail less.  I used our spinaker Hayward to hoist the sail temporarily although I could only get it half way up with the they waves and all. It gave us just enough to get around the coast as the sun came up and into a harbour.  Tomorrow we will go to Lagos by bus and hopefully pick up or order new valve springs, as well as rods.... unfortunately the intake valve fell inside the engine while I was examining the problem, so I will have to remove the head once again......oh joy.  Weather looks like shit either way.  We should be here about a week until we set off again.  Too bad we were thinking about entering kimmy cornwalls crossing...would seem fitting since we are using his routing book.

My camera is not working otherwise a picture would accompany.  Still working on busting out the go pro, although with the adventure under full swing, it seems there is always something to keep me busy. Hopefully we can change that.  Oh yeah, the gear box ran without oil, so now it is welded in forward.  We have no reverse or neutral....oh joy!

Chat soon! one love.